Multimedia StoryTelling

By the students of MCJ300 at The University of Southern Mississippi

Author Archive

Follow my other blog

with one comment

Hey guys, I know this is off topic, but I have another blog, “April’s Political Blog”. I would appreciate it if you gave it a look and followed me. I need more followers haha. If you guys have personal blogs I will follow back! Thanks.


Written by apriljana

December 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

‘Dwarf’ no more: One Woman’s Story of Undergoing Controversial Lengthening Surgeries

leave a comment »

‘Dwarf’ no more: One Woman’s Story of Undergoing Controversial Lengthening Surgeries

A multimedia package (of a written story, video, and photo gallery) tells the story of a woman who underwent excruciatingly painful surgeries to make herself taller. She gained over ten inches of height, to ulitmately be 4 feet 10 inches tall. 

The extra height allowed her to be an independent person, and take control of her life. 

For DiDonato, little daily victories are hard-won. But as she put it, if you have been through pain, suffering, and sacrifice, it makes you a stronger person.

DiDonato is married to a 6 foot tall marine and a new mother. She never saw herself being able to be a mother, but she loves that she able to take care of her child and is successful. 

Her marine husband appreciates that she has seen her own battles. They know how to support and comfort each other for this reason.

It’s really inspiring to see what pain and sacrifice some have to go through just to have a normal life.

Written by apriljana

December 2, 2012 at 5:25 am

Masie Crow Part Two: Genetic Disorder, Prader-Willi

with 2 comments

Photojournalist Maisie Crow’s work is so captivating that I couldn’t just do one post about her.

This video story is about a young man with Prader-Willi Syndrome. It’s a very rare genetic disorder that I had never heard of before I saw this video.

It involves social and emotional problems as well as an insatiable appetite.

In the video his father recounts the trials of raising a special child. It’s a touching profile of their relationship.

Photo Gallery of Mali musicians fleeing the north

leave a comment »

In Mali musicians flee south

In this photo essay, the lives of musicians on the run from their home is documented. The photographs show them living out of suitcases and surviving. They are determined to protect their art.

Musicians in northern Mali are being targeted and punished for performing their art. Rebels that formerly supported Ghaddafi, the Tuaregs, have joined forces with al-quida groups and other extremists. They are taking over the northern area of Mali. The extreme Islamists believe that any music that is not made to accompany Qur’an verses is against their religion.

 In a telephone interview, one of the Islamists’ top commanders declared that his fighters would continue to target musicians. “We are not only against the musicians in Mali. We are in a struggle against all the musicians of the world,” said Oumar Ould Hamaha, the military leader of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, one of three extremist groups controlling the north.

Mali is known for its rich cultural heritage of the arts, especially music. Famous Mali artists such as Khaira Arby and Drahmane Toure have performed internationally (namely at Bonaroo in Tenessee, and in England)

Now, artists Like Arby and Toure are fleeing from their homes to the capital of Mali, Timbuktu, and neighboring countries to escape the extremist policies against their art.

Arby hasn’t returned to her home in seven months, in fear that she will have her tongue cut from her mouth.

It is sad to see such a wonderful culture stifled by extremism.


Written by apriljana

December 1, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Behind the Picture: The photo that changed the face of AIDS

leave a comment »

Behind the Picture: The photo that changed the face of AIDS

In the early 90’s a journalism student named Therese Frere started volunteering at an AIDS hospice and photographed the horrific effects of the disease. Her work was pivotal in changing the public’s perspective on HIV and AIDS. The public viewed it as a controversial disease that effected the outer fringes of society, and had no personal personal effect on them, even though many people were infected unknowingly by blood transfusions and other means.

This essay about a young gay activist, his friend and caregiver Peta, and his parents is utterly heartbreaking and captivating. The images just knock the breath out of you with their crushing devastation. 

Frere’s work contributed to the public’s understanding of the disease and how it can effect anyone.

Written by apriljana

December 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Powerball Jackpot winners are Hardworking Americans

leave a comment »

Powerball Jackpot winners are Hardworking Americans

Today, the owners of one of the two winning tickets sold in the power ball jackpot lottery came forward. The jackpot totaled $5.87 million. The winners can choose to take their part of the winnings in a lump sum or monthly payments over 30 years. 

The winning family is the Hill family of Dearborn, Missouri. People often hope that lottery winners are hardworking people that deserve it. The Hill family fits that description.

According to this article, Mark Hill is a mechanic at meat processing plant. His wife Cindy was an office manager before she was laid off. The family has three adult sons and a six year old daughter who was adopted from China. 

The Hills are a solid working class family that wants to use their winnings to do good. They plan on  adopting another child and helping their relative’s children pay for college.

This photo slideshow shows the family with their oversized check, as well as the excitement prior to the drawing. 

Written by apriljana

November 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Tiny house trend hits DC

with 2 comments

A story and accompanying photo gallery from the Washington Post  covers the construction of tiny houses in the nation’s capital.

The “tiny house” trend has been taking over the west coast for a few years. The movement to tiny living spaces aims to reduce American conspicuous consumption. The tiny houses range from 150 to 200 square feet of living space and cost around $20,000-$50,000.

Every nook and cranny of the tiny abodes  has a purpose and storage capacity. Beds are often lofted above the livings spaces.

The trend has now traversed the country and is taking root in DC. In a city with very high housing prices, maybe this will be successful. Would you live in a tiny space like this?

Written by apriljana

November 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm